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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers Nan Hampton, Jimmy Mills and Barbara Medford to be the culpable and capable parties. Yet, others think staff members Damon Waitt, Joe Marcus and Philip Hawkins might play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

Questions From Near You

Oneonta, AL
Varieties of lupines that will grow in Zone 7, Alabama
I have just found you and read 500 plus questions, fascinated. My question concerns plants in Alabama, is there a variety of lupine that will grow is zone 7, sun or shade? Also, we purchased acreage t...
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Trussville, AL
Questions about lilies from Trussville AL
How can I tell what kind of lily I have? Or better yet,what is the difference between Asiatic lily and a daylily? I also noticed someone asked about Cahaba lily. Just want to let you know I grow Caha...
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Trussville, AL
Plant identification of conifer-like low plant in Alabama
When walking in woods of Alabama we found a plant that grows along the ground. looks like a conifer about 2 or 3 inches tall, has a trailing vine under the leaves and pops up little sprigs of greener...
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Boaz, AL
Male and female Maclura pomifera trees in Boaz AL
To grow a Maclura pomifera female tree, do I have to have a male tree for the female to produce fruit?
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Cullman, AL
Diamonds and Rubies plant (Lychnis coronaria)
I recently purchased a plant from the Huntsville, AL Botanical Gardens at their annual plant sale. The name on the plant tag is "Rubies and Diamonds". No one at the Botanical Garden knew the scien...
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Gadsden, AL
Pollination by dwarf yaupons of normal size selections in Gadsden AL
Can dwarf varieties of male yaupons be used to pollinate non dwarf female yaupons? Specific males in question are Shillings (Stokes Dwarf) yaupon and Bordeaux Condeaux.
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Birmigham, AL
Plant identification
Dear Mr Smarty Pants.I hope you can help to save my sanity! I am a true believer in using native plantings, having a yard that is 99% native. I hope that fact provides me a little extra credit towar...
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Birmingham, AL
Evergreen groundcover for full sun in Alabama
Mr. Smartyplants, can you suggest a native, evergreen, full-sun groundcover that might thrive in zone 8a? We hope to find a mass planting that would look good beside Heuchera villosa 'autumn bride,...
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Birmingham, AL
Front Door Vine in Alabama
I live in Birmingham, AL in a large-scale, white brick, French-style home. I would like to have a vine over my front door. I don't want an invasive vine (seed pods that create new vines or attaches t...
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Birmingham, AL
Passiflora incarnata 'Alba' cultivar or hybrid from Birmingham AL
Is Passiflora incarnata 'Alba' a cultivar or a hybrid?
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Birmingham, AL
Problem with Quercus texana (Nuttall oak) in Alabama
I have a 3" diameter Nuttall Oak that the builder planted when building the house. Last summer I noticed that several spots on the trunk were oozing sap (vertical approximately 1.5" long by 0.5" wi...
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Birmingham, AL
Transplant shock in American beautyberry in Birmingham AL
We created a new garden area in our yard that gets full sun in the afternoon. I had a Beautyberry Bush that had seriously outgrown the area where we originally planted it (also full sun), so I transp...
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Birmingham, AL
Plants for curb appeal from Birmingham AL
My front yard is on a down hill slope. Can you recommend some plants that would be good for creating curb appeal that will be planted up against the house? We need some that are short around 2 feet ...
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Birmingham, AL
Plants for a property line in Birmingham, AL
I am looking for a plant to help establish a property line. Our neighbor's landscaping/mowing company has a large turnover, and the new employees always get confused about where the property line is...
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Birmingham, AL
Flowering Deer Resistant Ground Cover for Dry Rocky Soil: Alabama
My question has been partially answered in the FAQ but I live in Birmingham where the soil is clay and rocky so it's a little different. I want to plant on a rocky slope (small rocks like the size of...
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Birmingham, AL
Habitats of pitcher plants
Where do pitcher plants live?
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Birmingham, AL
Grass for sunny or shady slope in Birmingham AL
What kind of grass grows well in the shade or sun on a sloping landscape?
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Birmingham, AL
Native plants for southwest side of house in Birmingham, AL
I would like to know what I can plant on the southwest side of my house where there is a brick foundation and is really hot in the summer. I've tried irises and day lilies-not good. Suggestions?
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Birmingham, AL
Cutting back salvia greggii in Birmingham, AL
When is a good time to cut back salvia gregii and how much can you cut it back. We will probably still have frost. Will it grow in sun and shade?
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Birmingham, AL
Planting for steep slope in Alabama
I am looking for a plant for a steep slope down to a creek in our backyard in Birmingham Alabama It will get some morning sun but will be in the shade in the afternoon. I was thinking of wildflowers...
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Homewood, AL
Will suckering of coralberry be a problem in Homewood AL?
I am considering planting Symphoricarpos orbiculatus in the yard of the home I just purchased. I am interested in attracting wildlife to my yard and covering over a stump with a 3' diameter. My onl...
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